The first time I tried Spanakopita I was visiting my girlfriends for a weekend getaway in Chicago. Since they all have experience with big city living in one state or another, and I have none at all, they love exposing me to the best that city life has to offer.
(To be honest, I think they just get a kick out of my wide-eyed state of constant amazement: "You mean there's a train in the middle of the city? Stores that just sell...gourmet popcorn only? An H & M Clothing store right downtown?" Oh Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.).
But I digress. The real juice in this story is in the Spanikopita I had at an incredible little Greek restaurant in Chicago. Could you eat a piece of heaven with a fork? Could your head melt with pure food satisfaction? Could you fly me to Greece so I could eat Spanakopita for dinner every day?
When I stumbled upon Ina Garten's recipe for Dinner Spanakopitas in my new Back to Basics cookbook, I knew I had to give them a try. But not without plenty of changes, of course.
Ina's recipe calls for puff pastry--obviously a delicious, buttery, flaky option that would yield delightful Spanikopita results. However, I decided to go with a healthier and more economical option by using up a leftover package of soy eggroll wrappers I had in the fridge.
The creative results? Spanikopita Egg Rolls (to be fair, it's not really an egg roll. More like Spanakopita filling baked into eggroll wrappers). I imagine these would be adorable even smaller, wrapped in wonton wrappers.
These guys sure hit the spot--with feta, spinach, and pine nuts as the base, I got all the spinach-feta fill I needed, minus the heavy load of pastry.
Are you a big-city person, or small-town gal?
(Ina Garten inspired this Hungry Spoon creation)
This is a dish in disguise: On the outside--egg roll. On the inside--a little bite of Greek heaven.
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- a little olive oil
- 6 egg roll wrappers
- 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (approximately--just eyeball it!)
- 5 oz. package of reduced-fat feta cheese
- 3 TBSP toasted pine nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2) In a small skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and lightly browned (about 4 - 5 minutes).
3) Combine all ingredients (except the egg roll wrappers!) in a large bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
4) Spoon about 1/3 cup of spinach mixture into the center of an egg roll wrapper. Fold up on each short side, then roll the wrapper up (like a burrito). Place seam side down on baking sheet, and repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Lightly spray the wrappers with cooking spray.
5) Bake for 15 minutes. Flip egg rolls over (the bottoms should be lightly browned) and return to the oven to bake on the opposite side for 3 minutes.
6) Enjoy! These babies are good enough to eat plain, but a dash of marinara sauce for dipping might be fun, too.